The Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Biology has just been published, containing plentiful introductory topics on all aspects of the field. I’m pleasantly surprised by how many subject areas are covered, and pleased to see many of my colleagues and peers making contributions.
I was involved with one section, “Recombination and Molecular Evolution“, written with Andrea Betancourt from the University of Veterinary Medicine in Vienna. As the title suggests, we provided a primer on the role that recombination plays in genetic evolution. The piece itself is in two distinct parts. We start by outlining the theoretical reasons as to why recombination is beneficial; broadly, it can unpick genes from bad backgrounds, and create optimal genotypes. The second part places this theory in context, describing how the mixture of recombination and selection affects neutral (i.e. unselected) genetic diversity, which can be inferred from genome scans (see my blogpost on the subject for more information).
Click here to read the article, and to browse the rest of the series.